I’m going to stop apologizing for being a childless dog owner.
I was 20 years old when I adopted my first dog, Mortimer. At the time, I had many friends who were pregnant, already had kids, or were planning on having kids in the near future. To be completely honest, the thought of having children terrified me. I knew I wanted to be a mom someday, but I definitely wasn’t ready. So, I got a puppy.
I had heard that having a puppy was good practise for eventually having human children, but I wasn’t nearly prepared for what that entailed. The amount of work, sleepless nights, and messes I had to clean up just within the first week were almost unbearable. I thought to myself, “If this is what parenthood is like, I do not want children.”
Puppies are a lot like children, except they grow up much more quickly. The average puppy stage only lasts for up to a year. Minuscule in comparison to nine or ten with human children. Then there’s the rebellious phase, which occurs within the dog’s second year. For kids, that one can last from the age of 10 to 20. That is 10 years of torment and back-talk. Life with a dog will normalize around the age of three and actually be pleasant and manageable by four at the latest. If you want to have a decent relationship with your human child, expect to start around 20.
20 years of life struggling to raise a non-apologetic, expensive dependant may seem worth it to some people, but definitely not me.
I love dogs. I have always loved dogs. Dogs are sweet and kind. Dogs have decent intentions and love whole-heartedly. Dogs can be selfish, but only for basic wants and needs, and they are more than apologetic if they act out of turn. Watch any “dog shaming” video for proof. In reality, dogs are simply better than people. So, I choose to spend my time with them. And they actually appreciate it!
I’m going to stop apologizing for being a childless dog owner. There are 7.4 billion people in the world, over half of which are under the age of 30. In the year 2014, there were roughly 1.4 million documented homeless children in the United States. With the population rising, the amount of homeless children will only increase. Adding more kids to the world only seems irresponsible and selfish at this point, and the adoption process is incredibly difficult and expensive. It’s seemingly impossible to adopt a child. Trust me, I checked!
In comparison to dogs, each year, 3.9 million dogs enter the shelter system in the United States. Approximately 1.2 million are euthanized per year, while the remainder are adopted or wait for their forever homes. Most homeless dogs are not spayed or neutered, meaning the population of stray dogs is constantly growing. Did you know that the average female dog and her puppies can produce an alarming 67,000 puppies in their lifetime? Neither did I.
By adopting two dogs, one male and one female, – and having them fixed, of course – I single handedly prevented the births of 67,000 puppies, making room for 67,000 dogs to be adopted into loving homes. By adopting my dogs instead of having children, I not only saved lives, but I reduced my negative impact on this world.
I made room for more puppies and children to be adopted, because having children wasn’t a priority for me.
I’m going to stop apologizing for being a childless dog owner, because now that I have dogs, I don’t think I could ever have children. And I’m ok with that! Learning these statistics, and researching the impact just one child, or one dog, can have on the world, I wouldn’t feel responsible having my own kids.
I don’t need to apologize for being a childless dog owner, and I don’t need to justify why I won’t be married and have a family of four by the age of 25. I can continue living my life, saving dogs, spreading love and awareness of homeless animals, and possibly influence more to make a difference as well, and that is perfectly alright by me.
*This is an opinion based article, and does not reflect the views of World of Angus*
Photos by Wesley Barber